It’s a historic day for sustainable mobility in New York City.
On Tuesday, August 17, shared scooters will officially launch in The Bronx, and with them comes the promise that these micromobility services will benefit the diverse transportation needs of the borough’s millions of residents and annual visitors.
At Bird, providing eco-friendly transportation for everyone is our North Star. Our local team in New York is partnering closely with city and community leaders, as well as the NYCDOT, to ensure that our 1,000 available vehicles are always deployed, priced and maintained to safely serve all riders.
Here’s what we’re focused on.
1. Equity and Accessibility
There are only about 15 miles separating Co-op City from Midtown Manhattan. When it comes to the accessibility of public transportation options such as subway and bike stations, however, these two areas can sometimes feel worlds apart.
Bird’s first area of focus during New York City’s historic scooter sharing program will be bridging this mobility gap. That means using our Bird AI drop engine to ensure our vehicles are equitably deployed across all neighborhoods in The Bronx pilot zone. We’re also offering a broad selection of pricing programs such as Bird Access, Community Pricing and Global Ride Passes to make sure cost is not a barrier to our vital micromobility services.
Beyond this, we’ve also implemented several programs that prioritize mobility for persons with disabilities. One of these is an industry-first partnership with Scootaround to provide on-demand accessible mobility to riders throughout the Bronx pilot area. Bird riders will benefit from exclusive pricing discounts and have unique access to Bird accessible vehicles including the WHILL Model Ci2. The other is a wheelchair attachment device designed to provide non-motorized wheelchairs with an electric motor.
2. Operational Excellence
Bird’s focus on operational excellence in the Bronx starts with providing riders with the safest, most sustainable and most technologically-advanced shared scooters available: the Bird Three.
Working with more than 300 city partners around the world, our in-house team of engineering and vehicle design experts have developed our Bird Three scooters to keep riders safe, cities clean and, most importantly, carbon emissions as low as possible. This includes things like the industry’s most sustainable battery, smart braking and acceleration technology, real-time diagnostic monitoring, exceptional visibility and more.
We’re also fully committed to local hiring to ensure that our service delivers on the promise of both mobility and economic benefits for New Yorkers. To that end, we’ve partnered with The Fortune Society to help us hire Bird mechanics, drivers and other key team members whose local knowledge and experience will elevate our operations in The Bronx and help provide opportunities for justice-impacted individuals.
“The Fortune Society and Bird share the belief that, by opening the door to meaningful employment for justice-impacted people, businesses can help strengthen individuals, families and communities—and Bird is creating such opportunities,” said The Fortune Society President and CEO JoAnne Page. “We commend the company’s dedication to working with us to ensure that these vehicles are a force for social and economic good in our communities.”
3. Community Safety
Bird is putting our years of experience serving more cities than any other micromobility operator to work to deliver the safest scooter service in the Bronx. The process starts with extensive and ongoing community outreach, complemented by unrivaled safety technology built directly into our vehicles and app.
Throughout the spring and summer, our local team in New York has been hosting safety events in The Bronx including a vehicle demonstration at Gun Hill Houses with Councilmember Kevin Riley and a safe riding tutorial and helmet giveaway in collaboration with Jacobi Hospital. These events will be ongoing throughout our participation in New York City’s scooter program, with a goal of reaching as many riders and residents as possible.
Beyond in-person events, Bird is committed to rider and community safety in New York by employing a robust and growing suite of in-app and onboard vehicle technologies. These features include:
- Safe Start checkpoint to help prevent riding under the influence
- Beginner Mode to offer new riders a gentle acceleration option
- Community Safety Zones to enforce additional geofenced slow-riding areas around schools
- Skid Detection to detect and proactively address worn tires and noncompliant riding behavior
- Community Mode to give all Bronx residents the ability to easily report issues in real-time
To find out more about what we’re doing to help make micromobility programs a success in New York City and in more than 300 other cities around the world, subscribe to the Bird Cities Blog.